Applied Communications Inc. said its Base24 transaction processing software will be deployed in a long-term project to convert all debit and credit cards in the United Kingdom to smart cards.

The Association for Payment Clearing Services, the U.K. interbank standards organization known as Apacs, undertook the project to combat the fraud associated with magnetic stripe cards.

Several of the largest financial institutions in the country are using Base24 in the pilot phase that precedes a public trial scheduled for October.

Enhancements to ACI's software enable banks to accept, authorize, and process integrated-circuit card messages using standards adopted by Apacs. The system will continue to accommodate the magnetic-stripe cards that will remain in circulation during the transition period.

"The BASE24 enhancements represent a significant investment in development," said Tom Boje, managing director of ACI's Europe, Middle East, and Africa operation. "The enhancements also reflect the flexibility of Base24."

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